Quality of Life Comparisons Among Advanced Democracies - Population Statistics and Introduction

InternationalComparisons is the most comprehensive and up-to-date research site on advanced democracies. We provide objective information for academics, students, journalists and others on international quality of life indicators. Over the past decade we have developed the following features:

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Country Overviews

Countries covered: 2012 population
Australia 22,728,000
Canada 34,880,490
Denmark 5,591,572
France 63,514,000
Germany 80,425,820
Italy 60,916,200
Japan 127,515,000
Netherlands 16,754,960
Norway 5,019,000
Sweden 9,519,374
United Kingdom 62,858,800
Total, Non-US 489,723,216
United States 314,112,100
Data Source: OECD, OEDC.stat*

About International Comparisons

Internationalcomparisons.org compares different quality of life factors among 12 of the most advanced democracies in the world to evaluate where the United States stands in relation to those advanced democracies. Our national evaluation indicators include statistics and data from various sources to compare many quality of life elements, accessed via the links above and at the right.

With this information, we test the following hypothesis:

The United States is the least developed of the advanced democracies in most areas.

The US has high personal income, high productivity, large houses, and ample higher education; however, it is the most militarized nation, has the highest population growth, the most uneven distribution of income, mediocre basic education, the lowest health status, the highest health care costs, much higher crime, less leisure time, more abortion & teen pregnancy, and a lower status for women. The United States is the least environmentally sustainable of the advanced democracies, the most polluting, and the most dependent on fossil fuel.

Sherman Lewis, Professor Emeritus of Political Science
California State University East Bay, Hayward

Dustyn Bindel, Research Assistant


European Union - In 1957 10 European countries signed the Treaty of Rome forming the EU. By 2007 the EU had 27 countries and 490 million people. The EU has a unified currency (the Euro, with the exception of the U.K.), open borders, free trade, free capital and a coordinated foreign policy. The EU requires applicants to meet requirements for democracy and institutional reform.

Race - This guide has no international information about race because international statistics are hard to find and because class and ethnic conflict are much more important. I agree with Wolff et al. (see Human Development Index sources):

"…society's most visible problems do not stem primarily from race; they stem from poverty…. The poor, both black and white, share the same approximate rates of crime, welfare, teenage and single parenthood, substance abuse and other social problems."

Discrimination related to race increases poverty among minorities, but America's statistics for whites are worse than Europe's. Despite growth of an American black middle and upper class, American blacks in general are doing worse than whites in health, education, crime, and income. American Hispanics and Indians also have serious poverty problems, while Asian Americans are generally even with whites.